Kamante Gatura


Longing for Darkness

In one of the most dazzling - and unlikely - books of recent times, the lost world of Isak Dinesen (Baroness Karen Blixen) is stirringly re-created by her old major-domo, Kamante, the hero of her classic Out of Africa. Here Kamante gives his version of Out of Africa (related to Peter Beard and then translated from Swahili and hanwritten by Kamante's son), his inspired rendering of the fables Isak Dinesen taught in Karen Coffee Farm School, and his lyrical watercolors.
Here, too, are many never-before-published photographs from the collections of Isak Dinesen, her brother Thomas, and her great friend Denys Finch-Hatton, along with Peter Beard's superb photographic record of a world where - for perhaps the last time in history - true wilderness and true sophistication were one.

"I, Kamante Gatura, was a cooker in her house. During that life with Mrs. Karen I did drive to Nairobi by way of Muthaiga and compete with the best other cooks, going to the Norfolk Hotel, the Stanley, and the Tors Hotel, and the other called Queens Hotel. We travelled the Ngong road way. By then there wernt very many constructions as there are now. We could sleep in Nairobi. Mrs. Karen had lots of welcome friends."

"The first person to go to Mr. and Mrs. Barance Blixen to inquire for a shamba (a farming garden) was my father by accidents. He first went ti chief Kinyanjui and said that we were going to Ngamb-aru's Shamba. But the Shamba we were going to was of Mrs. Karen. We reached after a long journey from our old Njakai farm.

And it passed like this"

Kamante Gatura